View Full Version : This is your Captain Sleeping....

18th Jul 2003, 16:57


A US pilot has had his wings clipped - after being caught by a passenger asleep in his cockpit.

The incident was recorded on videotape during a flight from the Bahamas to Fort Lauderdale.

The pilot apparently slept for most of the flight.

Now his airline, Walkers Aviation, has given him the sack.

The Federal Aviation Adminstration said sleeping at the controls was "inappropriate".

It was also a complete violation of regulations.

18th Jul 2003, 17:28
Must be a wind-up. What was a passenger doing on the flight-deck in flight in the first place, secondly, who would allow themselves to be filmed asleep ?

18th Jul 2003, 17:29
Who was the old BOAC captain who complained that he couldn't get a nap in during the cruise because the rest of the crew were snoring so loudly?

(Oh, the old ones are always the best.)

18th Jul 2003, 17:32
Photo on the sky news article looks like it could be an elderly small regional airliner which might not have had a partition/curtain or cockpit door on it at all, e.g. a small Embraer prop or the likes.

Captain looks elderly as well.

18th Jul 2003, 18:02
As a non pilot (well, not heavy metal anyway), I couldn't condone kipping in the cockpit, but is it not the case that long rotations & time zone changes make this sort of thing inevitable?

My gut instinct is to feel a bit sorry for the guy for getting caught really.

Captain Airclues
18th Jul 2003, 18:29
The safer option would have been for the passenger to wake him up rather than videotape him.


18th Jul 2003, 18:31
I used to work for Walker Aviation in Ft. Lauderdale (not as a pilot) and one of their a/c was a Twin Otter, which from the TV footage shown, appears to possibly be the same a/c. As far as I'm aware and can remember, this a/c is single pilot operated.

On larger, multi-crew a/c, usually on long night sectors, it can be difficult to remain 'alert' and it is not unusual to have a 'controlled nap' whilst in your seat. This involves letting your colleague in the other seat know that you are going to be closing your eyes for 15 minutes or so. These kinds of naps are known to be beneficial and do not, in my view, affect the safe operation of the a/c. It is very rare to be able to get more than 15 minutes as the cabin crew are going to be checking in about as often as that anyway.

For those of you not familiar with this kind of flying, you can make your own simulator at home so that you can appreciate what it actually feels like. Put an armchair (not too comfortable) and a vacuum cleaner in a small darkened room. A cubby hole under the stairs is usually a suitable palce. If you have a PC, place that in there too and run a flight sim program. At about your usual bedtime sit yourself in the chair, set up a flight on autopilot in your flight sim program, preferably one of at least three hours. Turn on the vacuum cleaner and turn off any other lights and relax in the armchair. Feel free to phone a few friends who may be awake at that time of night.

If anyone would care to try this out, especially after having a break after 3-4 hours and then repeating the exercise, and get back to us here on PPRuNe and let us know if they managed to remain awake without feeling drowsy at all, it would be appreciated. If possible, repeat the exercise within 24 hours at about the same time.

The video shown on Sky News is of the pilot, asleep, being filmed from the pax cabin through doorless bulkhead to the cockpit of what appears to be a DHC6 Twotter. It was a daylight flight. As far as I remember, Walkers operated a scheduled service between their private island, Walkers Cay, Bimini, Ft. lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

18th Jul 2003, 19:24
Quite impressive that he can actually get of to sleep between the Bahamas and Ft. Lauderdale !! If he cant stay awake that long he should try for Homer Simpsons job !

18th Jul 2003, 19:46
Personally, I encourage a fellow crew member to take a "power nap". I don't expect them, however, to sleep from take off to touchdown. 5 or 10 minutes when you are feeling a little "jaded" (daren't use the word 'fatigue' as that opens up the regular debate) can make all the difference just to see you through to the staff car park.


18th Jul 2003, 19:46
"Apparently slept for most of the flight."

It didn't occur to anyone to wake him up, then?

Buster Hyman
18th Jul 2003, 21:16
Ah yes, just saw the footage.

And why, pray tell, would you bother waking him, when you can make a fortune from selling the tape, or winning Funniest Home videos and even appearing on Riki Lake?

For arguments sake, what if he'd had a heart attack (God forbid!), and there's Cletus with his video making sure he gets a great shot! I'm no Saint, but like someone else mentioned, I'd be up there either waking him or seeing if he was ok! (For the record, the footage I saw didn't appear to show him snoring either!)


18th Jul 2003, 22:16
About 15 years ago I had a F/O who was awake at the OM but was asleep at 500 above minima - quite remarkable.

More recently I discovered that my F/O was no longer with me towards the end of a SID!

18th Jul 2003, 22:18
After watching the footage on US TV last night it was quite obvious to all concerned that the right-hand seat had control of the flight! (Nobody see that bit?)

18th Jul 2003, 22:56
Stupid pax! Any sensible person would have quietly slipped into the RHS and 'had a go'. Those Twotters look fun.

18th Jul 2003, 23:03
Dittos to thetexpat,

My wife said the video she saw identified the right seat person as the copilot. If you did not see this minor detail, you may want to reevaluate your source of news and information.

Questions? Now, lets find something else to obliterate!



pete zahut
18th Jul 2003, 23:34
Why don´t take a nap in the Twotter?

-Every trip in a these aircrafts are a kind of long ones, -regardless of distances flown -and all pilots with Twotter experience knows that there are no clocks on board, only calenders...:rolleyes:

18th Jul 2003, 23:51
The TV footage shown in the UK did not show the right seat and the commentary tried to emphasise that the pilot was on his own. Looks like the US version was not quite as skillfully edited as the UK one. Still, never let the truth get in the way of a good story! :suspect:

Flight Safety
19th Jul 2003, 00:39
I heard a rumor a year or two ago, that the FAA was looking into the idea of allowing pilots (on 2 pilot aircraft) to take short naps during the cruise phase, as long as the other pilot was awake and alert (and in his/her seat). I heard the thinking was this might have some benefits for the pilots on long sector flights, by allowing them to be more refreshed and alert during the high work load let-down and approach phases of the flight.

Anyone else heard of this? Would this actually be helpful in any way? Would it present any risks if allowed?

19th Jul 2003, 01:04
>>Anyone else heard of this? Would this actually be helpful in any way? Would it present any risks if allowed?<<

Here's one of Dr. Rosekind's (et al.) original articles describing his research at NASA on the subject:


Here's a short interview where Dr. Rosekind extolls the virtues of a short nap in the cockpit:


19th Jul 2003, 01:15
You may be interested to know that the 'video-taker' (in the US footage) was VERY concerned that the pilot was not WEARING A HEADSET EITHER! !:8

19th Jul 2003, 01:54
The CNN version of this 'story' makes it sound even less of an event but there's an interesting quote from the FAA."[Under FAA regulations] when two pilots are necessary for a flight, then they are both required to remain awake, alert and performing their flight-related duties."

-- Kathleen Bergen, FAA spokeswomanIs this true? I thought pilot naps were the norm. Maybe less advisable on a 55min sector but is it actually a regulation? Oh and according to CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2003/TRAVEL/07/18/sleeping.pilot.ap/index.html) he was not sacked, he resigned. Poor bloke.

19th Jul 2003, 04:29
The danger of one napping is that there's no guarantee that the other isn't going to nod off too! I'm still wondering if that is what may have happened when an xxxxxistan Boeing crossed several UIRs/FIRs, including ours, in radio silence a few weeks ago; this at a very busy period. The FMS kept the a/c exactly on it's FPL track. We'll never know of course.

crack up
19th Jul 2003, 04:55
Even after several thousand hrs in a twotter, I never could nap without headsets on and the window cracked open a couple of inches. Worst thing is when the gel pad on your DCs springs a leak, You wake up with that sticky goo in your hair and ear. I guess that our pax always figured it was SOP for the capt to nap, never heard a thing.

Sleeve Wing
19th Jul 2003, 04:57
I can remember, during longish trips from UK to the Med. and back, we used to arrange between us to have a short kip, separately, an hour or so before landing. A kitchen timer was fitted in the overhead panel and was appropriately set.

After a long drag back into the Continental jetstream on one occasion,we were forced to tech.stop, just as the sun was coming up.

Our diversion was 9kms. or so vis. as we approached. By the time we got onto finals, we were down to Cat lll (totally unforecast.)

Thank God for two good autopilots, a good F/O and a 10 minute zizz each.


19th Jul 2003, 05:12
Read the news report so let me see if Ive got this right.
The captain decided to take a nap even though he knew perfectly well he had a bunch of strangers in the back with cameras who could see him on the flight deck.
The person taking the video was concerned that the captain was asleep but not concerned enough to actually wake him.
The F/O was aware of the video taping but thought it was a great joke and let the captain slowly cook in his own juices to be served later on prime time.
Do they have some sort of facility on Walkers that investigates Darwins Theory of Evolution, because these people sound like they were voted off.

19th Jul 2003, 05:44
I understand that the Captain in question resigned today.

I think it is quite appalling that the F/O would have let the situation continue - his / her inaction in my mind shows poor judgement. Not least as two crew equipment should have two functioning crew members - regardless of the conditions prevailing.

However, I believe it has been said here already: unknown duty time etc.? Not everything may be known about this, and maybe he was better off left sleeping than to take "command"??

Interesting topic. :ouch:

19th Jul 2003, 07:06
I really don't mind that he was taking a short nap, I remember that Einstein did his sleeps with a spoon in his hands. Every time he was in a deep sleep (15 to 25 mins) the spoon would fall out of his hands on a metal plate and woke up. After that he had enough energy again to start thinking and working again....

The take-offs and landings are for me the most important things from the flight and I really don't care that the copilot (or the captain) does the cruise-job. You have cabin attendants who come and check every 30 mins (Aviation authorities rules)... And if you don't respond to ATC a few jets will fly next to you and I think a few passengers will ask the cabin attendants anyway which problem is happening. I'm talking about the European way of not responding to ATC ;-)

Anyway too bad for the captain... I hope he will find another aviation-job in this difficult period for aviation....



Loose rivets
19th Jul 2003, 07:36
I had got the impression that the FAA still did not allow napping, while the CAA had seen sense and said it was okay.

The benefits are obvious, but the comment that the other guy may also fall asleep is valid.

I have mentioned before, in the U.K. we have 3 ? People in jail now cos of driving while tired. There were fatalities, but the charge was "wile tired" How many pilots in the world have never staggered to their car, with the sun just coming up, and still driven home. This is okay though, we're pilots, we don't get tired do we?.

I know of no other solution after a long flight to being safe on the approach, and the drive home, than to cat-nap at some appropriate time.

19th Jul 2003, 08:05
On the news here they said that this was only a 55 min trip, a little short trip for a nap ?


19th Jul 2003, 08:05

“I understand that the Captain in question resigned today.

I think it is quite appalling that the F/O would have let the situation continue - his / her inaction in my mind shows poor judgement. Not least as two crew equipment should have two functioning crew members - regardless of the conditions prevailing.”

Right on!!!!

There is absolutely no excuse for this skipper.
Many wish they could take a nap during their 8 hours a day 5 times a week “land” jobs (Driving to and back to work often times adds another 2 hours to one’s day). Yet doing so they know they would jeopardize their employment.
Sleeping, napping pilots at the controls puts them in the same category of misfits as those who are drunk.
Considering it was the right seat “employee” and supposedly in command, what kind of message is he sending to his “on the right co-worker”? Not only that but to all air travelers.
While a lot of pilots might feel it is safe to catch a quickie snooze while driving the iron, there is a reason why we have 2 at times 3 crew on flightdecks. Otherwise Airlines could save themselves some money and chop the “extra” Sky-Gods.
I will not even go into the possibility that FO might become incapacitated while the Cappy is snoring his life away.

And there is this quick (55min) flight. How overtired can one get on it? Of course, some say do it 2-3 times a day.. Routine, boredom, comfy chair, humming engines.. Fine,
Then how come when the folks performing routine, boring jobs, in their lazy-boy chairs in their “on the ground” office have to function all day long since napping will get them a pink slip?

The dude knew better since he fired himself.


Bad rap for pilots, totally unsafe, against regulations to name a few.
What I find unprofessional is that most here on this thread find this “napping while flying a crowd” business acceptable and brag about doing the same. Oh btw, how many people read this forum? Just think about it.

19th Jul 2003, 10:32
It looks to me as though the South Florida airspace is fairly busy. I'd want to be wide awake on the last part of the trip. Here is the URL of the view of the airspace http://www4.passur.com/bct.html

It's centered on Boca Raton, and you'll have to use the 40 or 80 mile ranges to see FLL. The main runway at FLL is esat-west.

Remember the 5-hour time difference from British time.

Anthony Carn
19th Jul 2003, 13:39
Many wish they could take a nap during their 8 hours a day 5 times a week “land” jobs

8 hours a day 5 times a week. Regularity. Fixed sleep pattern. Regular meal times. Decent meals. No noisy hotels. No vibration, turbulence, noise, constant headset chatter, confinement, cramped conditions, danger. Predictable family and social lives. Ability to fit in with the activities of society. Weekends off. Public holidays off etc etc etc. Sheer bliss !

I've concluded that there are two categories of poster on this thread.

There are certainly two types of worker out there in the world, in my experience.

[1] -- Pilots, shift workers, nurses, policemen/women etc , who are only too well aware of the problems created by crazy sleep patterns. Falling asleep at random times is not lazyness, incompetence, disinterest, stupidity, or whatever else you wish to call it. It is a symptom of the nature of the job. It's a symptom of "bed-time" and "alarm goes off" occuring at wildly differring times in the same block of work ie. in the same week.

It plays havok with one's ability to actually sleep when one's body clock is in complete turmoil. Then, when sleep actually does descend, it is sporadic, poor quality napping in fits and starts.

IT IS HELL ! It leaves the sufferer permanently fatigued, despite best efforts to rest responsibly. The sufferer wakes up feeling tired !

[2] - The "nine-to-fivers". The very poster I quote above. People who go to bed at the same time every day and wake up after decent quality sleep of a duration decided by themselves and incorporated into their body clock by virtue of it's regularity.

People who have no concept whatsoever of the effects of regularly disrupted sleep patterns. I'm not talking about that night flight (as a passenger) to holiday in Majorca once a year ; I'm talking frequent sleep pattern disruption.

This attitude is perfectly understandable. It's called human nature. "I'm alright Jack !" "I don't feel tired so why should you ?"

The pilot in question should'nt have resigned ! His behaviour was representative of the majority of the pilot workforce, not to mention the human race ! Pilots are'nt machines !

19th Jul 2003, 14:10
I hope You are a saint Jetnoseover.

Do not drive one mile to fast when You are on the way to work.
Do not cutoff a walkway or do anything against any existing
rules anywhere. You have not worked as a lot of shiftworkes do.
Pilots, Flight Attendants, ATC-Controllers and Dispatcher and
and and to make it short enough. You must have glases on Your
eyes what prevent You from seeing the reality.

As the last writer postet : I just add, humans are not maschines
and even they fail... why do we have emergency and contincency
procedures? because maschines fail, humans are weaker then
maschines .............

Wake up and face the reality !!!!!!!!!!

Dan Winterland
19th Jul 2003, 18:27
The CAA say that 'catnaps' are acceptable. On learning this I wondered about the definition of a 'catnap', so I observed my cat for a day to see what it meant. It appears that it involves sleeping on top of the central heating boiler for 23 hours, then waking up for a stretch, something to eat and then a pooh before resuming the punishing schedule.

My last employer wrote to us to explain that catnaps were allowed. We used to fly from London to Florida with 2 crew, abusing the 'Florida2 Variation' which was not really designed for us. My first experience of the catnap was on one of these Florida trips and it led to the inevitable.

After no sleep prior to the flight due to the fact we were trying to get some rest when out bodies told us it was late afternoon and not really time to sleep, and that we had both done 5 previous US Est Coast trips in the previous 30 days therefore losing 5 complete nights sleep (Jet Brown Noser take note) - and also that an enourmous and very noisy thunderstorm had sat over the top of the hotel for most of the day , we set of for our ten hour flight during the period of our circadian low. It wasn't long before the Captain decided he needed a 'catnap'. The result - we were both woken up by the 'Pilot initiated event' alarm some time later.

I'd like to say this was an isolated event - but it wasn't. And it doesn't take one pilot taking a 'catnap' for both to fall asleep.

19th Jul 2003, 18:55
I have a hard time accepting the need to sleep on a 55 minute day time flight, but let's not kid ourselves here.

On any given flight conducted through the night, I'd expect that someone in the cockpit sleeps for a short period of time on the majority of these flights. Who are we serving if we struggle to stay awake for 9 hours of cruise, only to be totally exhausted for the approach and landing? A 30 minute kip during an appropriate time of low workload probably enhances safety more than anything else.

We are all grown-ups here. We’ve all done it. But if there are any pictures of it – I’m awake, just resting my eyes.

19th Jul 2003, 20:48
It is quite amusing reading through all the speculation in this thread from people who either haven't seen the story or got some edited version of it through their local news outlet.

There were 2 pilots (this thread started out saying there was one). And as for all you people admonishing the co-pilot, he is claiming that the captain wasn't asleep. Who knows the truth?

Also the passengers said the copilot asked them to stop filming the cockpit but they wouldn't listen. He did try to do something. What else could he do... go back there and take their cameras?

I'm not defending this guy if he was asleep but just noting amusement at a bad case of Chinese Whispers. Just because it's on TV doesn't necessarily make it true.

19th Jul 2003, 21:42
Also the passengers said the copilot asked them to stop filming the cockpit but they wouldn't listen. He did try to do something. What else could he do... go back there and take their cameras?

Well, he could have - if the skipper was awake and would have been able to take over......:8

19th Jul 2003, 22:03
Has anyone looked at his past crew rest?
Maybe he was called out on his day off to do this and did not have the proper rest.
Give the guy a break.
Until all the facts are know we cannot judge this guy.
Or is this just the news media or TSA wanna bees promoting this story.

19th Jul 2003, 22:08
I am quite sorry BUT,

The amount of rampant ignorance in this world is astonishing.

Armed with incomplete facts and little idea about how the world of aviation works, we have individuals armed with a computer blasting out their ill-conceived opinions about how things should work in this world.

Wake up call: A scandanavian airline installed timers in the overhead panel years ago so the crew would not nap past a predetermined time. It was not because they were all asleep but that IN THE EVENT the one or two that were supposed to be awake dozed off, they'd be awakened within a few minutes. As I understood the AW&ST article, the timers only run for 15 minutes and then go off -they must be CONTINUOUSLY reset. Gee? I wonder why a company would go to the expense of installing those?

That they did speaks to the physiological stress that the human body undergoes when busting time zones. It is hell enough to take years off your lifespan. A study in the 80's showed that night freght dogs died about ten years earlier than their daytime compatriots.

This napping captain may have not been flying from NYC to Paris but early show time -long sit times- a toasty cabin- a bad nights sleep the night before, whatever, contributed to his fatigue. The general public treats copilots in this world like another passenger. Surely THEY couldn't LAND THE PLANE!

You can't tell me the people vidoetaping the captain as he dozed off didn't have a little business proposition in mind when the landed with that tape. Did the people videotaping make any attempt to wake the captain? If they felt they were in any peril you'd think they might want to try to wake the guy up. What if it were a heart attack? Since I started in commercial aviation 20 years ago TWO American airlines captains died IN THE FLARE (DC-10's I believe both) due to massive heart attacks. The FO's literally saved the lives of everyone on board (including theirs) JUST LIKE THEY WERE SUPPOSE TO DO!

Flying is 22 time safer than driving in a car. We take great efforts to diminish the potential for some future malady by taking a vitamin or supplement. How about reducing your chances of dying by 2200 percent? Simply fly on holiday rather than drive, if possible.

I just pubished a book for the commercial passenger with questions or concerns about commercial aviation and I was not too gentle on the press. They have consistently and historically fanned tha flames of mistrust and misunderstanding regarding aviation in an attempt to snag viewers or sell newspapers. As the public becomes more informed on aviation matters, their limit for sensational BS has diminished. I see flyers on my airline look at aviation headlines and then ask me really insightful questions that get to the heart of the issue: Aviation accidents are newsworthy simply because THEY ARE SO RARE. 2003: NO fatalities in the USA. None.

Sorry to flame and I didn't mean to do that but I truly am weary of the incessant whining by the uninformed and the ignorant. Ignorance is simply defined as the lack of knowledge, not some reflection of a persons DNA. In this world of increasing complexity we individually must accede the fact that in some areas of technology and complexity, we are ignorant. I know flying. I don't know in detail the law, real estate, finance, politics, particle physics, mathematics or any of the complex disciplines we now accept as essential parts of our society. In many of those areas I am ignorant. I'll try to diminsh that ignorance, but I fully expect to die without knowing everything about everything.

In the past 50 years of avaition, the media has lied to us repeatedly. They continue to stack the deck and flavor the news to favor their viewpoint or their agenda. Some outlets are getting better, notably since 9-11. But, if you continue to eat their pablum without applying common sense, you will be just another member of our society who is informationally malnourished: You are bloated full of information but your mind is starving for facts.



20th Jul 2003, 01:05
The question has to be asked when the F/O realized that a passenger was filming the Captain with his eyes closed, why did he not advise the Captain what was going on. IMHO they should fire the F/O...

20th Jul 2003, 02:18

In hindsight that is a perfect conclusion to reach. In todays litigous society, only bad things come from videotapes.

But consider: The copilot on a puddlejumper airline is probably not a high time pilot though, in this case I may be mistaken. Judgement is something that is born of experience and the F/O in question may have decided that letting the "old man" snooze a few winks at cruise was the safest alternative, deciding to wake him before descent. The captain may have mentioned to the F/O that he had slept poorly the night before or was unusually tired. We have no idea what really transcribed before this event. I will tell you this, ANY phase of flight other than cruise is NO time to be catching 40 winks. Do you want him snoozing on final? Do you want him nodding off during an IMC approach to minimums? In a two crewmember aircraft, I am unaware of any rule that prohibits a cat-nap at cruise for the PNF. In fact, recent NASA studies have pointed out the benefits. This captain may have been a narcoleptic unable to stay awake reliably and ,if this is found to be the case, he should be removed from the cockpit permanently.

I am not sure the Twin Otter has air conditioning and I am guessing the temperature was in the 90'sF -the perfect environment for an inadvertant nap. There is no one this planet that hasn't found him/herself nodding off at times due to fatigue.

What we have here is a purely natural and unintended aspect of human behavior being thrust into the limelight by some journo-nazis bent on making some headlines out of a boring newsday.

This is so like the media. Like Dan Rather declaring the NWA 225 crash in DTW in 1987 solved because witnesses "saw the plane on fire and the aircraft had had an engine changed a few months prior." In fact, this particular plane MUST have had recurring engine problems because a couple of engines had been replaced since it was built ten or more years prior. Rather built a shoddy case that these "engines are failing every few years" and as such must be dangerous and defective. Bull Honky! I wrote Mr. Rather and pointed out the small fact that if what he said about the JT-8 series of engines was true, planes would be falling out of the sky at a horrific rate. Historcal statistics bore my argument out. The accident investigation revealed the aircraft took off with no flaps extended. The fire was the result of the left wingtip striking a light post in a car rental lot off the departure end of the runway which removed a chunk of the left wingtip. The engines were operating normally.

Rather's whole story was rubbish. Pure crap. And it is so typical of media people coming to quick judgement with little experience or expertise in the field. They never come out and admit their fabrications are wrong after the fact. Instead, they hire supposed experts who have expert license to pontificate all manner of "mights" and "coulda beens" under the auspices of factual investigations. It's fine to guess but all such guesses should be labeled as such, not infered to be actual facts. It's fun to watch the media step all over themselves when they find out one of their own is blatantly fabricating stories like the New Your Times recently did. Hypocrisy at its best.

The media has done society a great disservice when it comes to educating the public about aviation.


20th Jul 2003, 02:24
You can huff and puff all you want. I stand by my opinion that sleeping while on duty is a no-no.
To those here who accuse others on commenting of this specific “incident” without having all facts”: not the point in this discussion.
I could not care less what the reason this chap fell asleep is. He had a load of folks who thought he is in control of their flight.
I agree humans are not machines. That is why we have brains that let us know when we can perform our job safely. Regardless of having the autopilots doing the job for us we still are there to supervise that this great feature does what it is supposed to do. How would you like to wake up to the alarm when a/p disconnects?

Anthony Carn.

You chose this profession with full knowledge this is going to be your life style. In your interview for an airline pilot did you demand you get naps while flying? Also, what are the rules/regs on pilot fatigue, how much time can one operate a flight none stop, and how many hours a month does one log? On the average. You see, there is full understanding of what you are saying on sleep depravation, disruptions or havoc in pilots’ personal lives. You do not fly 40 hours a week every week, do you?

Do not get personal. Just my opinion.
I’ll ask you this: will you take a trip on the bus knowing your driver works shifts, faces dangers on the road, gets his “rest” in noisy hotels and is allowed to nap on duty?

Advertising that napping is a typical behaviour while flying is not going to do our business any good.

20th Jul 2003, 02:31
No fatalities in 2003 PlaneTruth ? I'll give you the benefit and assume you meant 2002.

20th Jul 2003, 03:48

DOH! (I'll hold my breath for just a few more months and maybe, hopefully, I'll be right! Positive thoughts now everyone!)

Thanks for keeping me honest.


Pardon me, but my ire towards the uninformed/ignorant was not directed at the individuals but, rather the sources from which they (we all) get their news. Remember, I outted myself as one out of the ignorant masses. Of course John Q. Public is ignorant about aviation if their sole source of information is the news media. This whole story should have been a "closer" piece at the end of the newscast rather than another headline.

You seem to believe the captain was the only one in the cockpit. What good are F/O's for then? By your own standards, they could easily be left behind as a waste of usable gross weight. This may reveal a glimpse into your management style in the cockpit were you a pilot. If a guy is not qualified to maintain level flight, what is he doing in the cockpit of a commercial aircraft? Fetching your biscuits? Telling your what a great guy you are? Telling you how great your landings are or how much the "girls" love working with you?

How about monitoring the autopilot for God's sake? I say the sooner we demystify aviation, the better for us all. Good pilots start out as good copilots and they have to learn somehow. Your response reminds me of a lady who was floored when I told her the "firm" touchdown was the new F/O working on his flare picture. "How could you let someone with lesser experience risk all our lives" she asked in mortal disbelief. I looked her right in the eye and sid, "M'am, twenty years ago I was right where he is today. We all have to start somewhere." (What I wanted to tell the old bat was, "If you think you can do a better job then he, here's an application.")

Someone is huffing and puffing here and it is not I.


Anthony Carn
20th Jul 2003, 05:34

I tend to respond sparingly to wind-up merchants, but I suspect that you're actually serious. It seems to me that you are so far removed from the stark realities of commercial aviation that your attitude is consequently over-simplified/naive.

Regardless, it serves a purpose to answer your points, since others are watching what is said.

I chose this profession, to use your phrase, partly based upon the assumption that flight time limitations and legal minimum rest periods were properly formulated and would, therefore, be effective in protecting me from excessive fatigue. I assumed that I was joining a civilised profession. I assumed that work, rest, proper provision of acceptable food, quiet overnight accomodation etc etc would be of a certain, decent standard. I assumed that fatigue would be kept in check by the regulations to the extent that I would always feel able to give 100%. I assumed that if I elected to offload myself from a flight due to a self-assesment of fatigue, that my decision would be accepted without question, investigation, personal interview, psychiatric assessment or threat.

I won't comment any more specifically than to hint at the reality, being unsure of the implications.

Draw your own conclusions.

Must go now -- I need to sleep. (Is that OK with you jet_noseover ?)

20th Jul 2003, 05:57
Anyone out there that thinks it is possible to stay wide-awake throughout every long duty day or night is at best naive. At worst they are complete morons with no understanding of what fatigue is.

There are many FTL schemes around the world and none of them adequately ensure a pilot is always properly rested for every flight. As long as one crewmember is awake and both parties are in agreement that it is a quiet portion of the trip and the workload is low, then a catnap is perfectly acceptable and indeed increases flight safety. It assures both pilots are awake for the important bits, approach and landing for example.

I do not believe either of these pilots should have lost there job instead the FAA would be well advised to look at the duty times these guys had put in prior to this flight and ensure their employer was following the rules. Frankly the FAA's reaction is very disappointing. The FAA may be better spend there time prosecuting the folks who took the pictures for distracting the flight crew (F/O) from his primary duties, I believe that is an offence!

The level of ignorance out there is breath taking! This Captain may have only been on a short sector but fatigue is cumulative and recovery times vary from person to person. He may have been on his first sector after days off, but how many duty hours had he done over the last 28 days? How many over the last year and so on? Does he have a medical condition? A headache has already been mentioned. Any personnel problems, noisy neighbours at home or in the cheap hotel that his company may use?

Of course we could all just bury our heads in the sand and pretend that the world is perfect and every pilot is always fully rested and alert 100% of the time! Of course every company always goes out of it’s way to use good rostering practice and insists FTL limits are followed to the letter and their crews stay in the best hotels! And of course every FTL scheme takes into consideration every situation and every pilots physiological requirements at any given time!

Putting toys back in the pram now!


20th Jul 2003, 08:31
AC/ kinsman,

Obviously you both speak from experience. Excellent posts both.

Reference the FAA, the media reports here in the States indicate the captain voluntarily quit. Whenever ANYTHING happens the FAA ALWAYS launches an investigation but I doubt anything will come of it. Perhaps a letter in his file for a period.

There, but for the grace of God (and a solid door) go I.


20th Jul 2003, 09:15
Anthony Carn:
“It seems to me that you are so far removed from the stark realities of commercial aviation that your attitude is consequently over-simplified/naive.“

You are telling me I am removed from reality of commercial aviation because my belief is that one needs to be awake and aware of their surroundings when flying? Tell this to your pax then: “Sorry guys I got to catch a quickie nap since them next door guests in my hotel room were too rowdy last night. I’m tired and the plane is going to fly itself for a time. No worry I’ll wake up for landing. Co-pilot is standing by in case,,,”.

See how warm this announcement is received. Oh, you do not announce it? Why not? Do not want to make anyone nervous?

As far as your reasons for becoming a pilot, Anthony: I think you might have assumed too much. Maybe you were the one who is/was naïve. Every job comes with responsibility. There should be pride in everyone of us to be able to say: “ I am good in what I do because I love it” ----- not --- “I am good in getting away with no-no’s and have my bills paid”. What is that cliché again?? Oh yea, “I’m a pilot, it beats working for a living…”

Piloting is not all glory. Bet you know it by now. I learned the hard way myself.

Plain Truth.
You are mistaken. From the very first post I have been aware this was 2-crew flight.

Still,,, no excuse for sleeping while on duty.

Burger Thing
20th Jul 2003, 10:15
Many good postings here so far with a lots of valid points. In our company we have a lot of night flights, with sign in times of around 3am in the morning. It is sometimes punishing!

Personally I doubt a bit, though, that a pilot from a small airline, flying Twin Otters between Bahamas and Florida, will suffer from cumulative fatigue in such a way, some of you described here (and absolutely correctly, like, let's say flying night charter at peak season).

We don't know the facts. His sleeping problems could have been the cause from something completely different. Maybe he has a medical problem and was on medication? Or Narcolepsy? I know a person who can fall asleep in a blink...

Kinsman I am pretty sure, the FAA will look into this, if they haven't done it already.

20th Jul 2003, 11:48
If I see an FO nodding off in the cruise I tell him to put his head back and take twenty minutes rest – and if I’m feeling drowsy, I’ll do the same myself after checking that the FO’s feeling OK.

I don’t actually get to sleep doing this, but putting the head back for even five minutes to refresh yourself in the cruise if far more sensible than sitting there jerking your head up repeatedly attempting to stay awake as I used to have to do as an FO with ‘old school’ captains. My thinking is that I’d rather have the guy (and myself) awake for the descent and landing than exhausted after eight hours from trying to ‘keep alert’(!) in the cruise.

To those like ‘jet noseover’ expressing outrage at the thought of one pilot resting in the cruise, can I ask if they’ve ever flown long haul? If you object to this on the grounds of reduced safety, how do you feel about one pilot leaving the flight deck in the cruise to use the toilet? Is this too an unacceptable reduction in flight safety?

20th Jul 2003, 13:23
From PlaneTruth

Wake up call: A Scandinavian airline installed timers in the overhead panel years ago so the crew would not nap past a predetermined time.

After the Scandinavians sold those aircraft off I acquired 8000 hrs in them. With the long range navs showing 1700+ miles to destination the seat would be reclined for a controlled snooze putting the overhead with its egg timer into view. Often wondered about the true purpose of the timer as I drifted, looking at it, into the land of nod. We all honestly thought it was primarily to prevent the engineer running a tank dry while balancing out the fuel packages. Now I(we) know; thanks for the information.

Fatigue is accumulative, it takes time to both develop and recuperate from with the only certainty when operating under its influence being that sleep won't necessarily occur at the time or place of choice. Due to the nature of the beast all pilots occasionally fly when they're tired and a 'controlled snooze at cruise' is preferable to a micro blackout of REM sleep on final. Sleeping is as fundamental to the human condition as breathing. To deny sleep in a safe environment when it's sorely needed goes against common sense and good CRM.

jet_noseover .
Attitude check: Your head would seem to be fully inserted.

20th Jul 2003, 13:43
I cannot agree with anything that 'noseover is saying. He says that he found out the hard way for himself, does that mean that he has long haul experience. From what he writes I doupt so very much.

I believe that in most airlines it is now most acceptable and actively encouraged by management that pilots rest at appropriate times during a flight. There is no reduction in safety by doing this and it has been proven that a rest before a high work load actually increases perfomance.

On my F/D when either of us is resting I get one of the cabin crew up to make sure that the other stays awake. Personally 20 mins an hour before ToD into Europe in the early hours does it for me.:ok:

20th Jul 2003, 14:06
I am not expressing any outrage. I am saying it’s not safe, appropriate, professional, etc. Nor it does any good to the industry advertising that dozing off is a common thing while working. Pax do not always know what it takes to get them from point A to Z. They trust us completely with their safety since we are in control or supposed to be. They see captain sleeping, they panic. Why do you think this “tape”/pictures were taken if it’s so common pilots sleep while on duty?
Why did he resign before the investigation?

I want to think there is pride in us to perform to the standards expected other than weasel "any which way you can” because you might get away with it.

Before you check on my attitude… take a trip with your loved ones in the bus driven by folks who nap at the controls. No difference.

Report back if alive.

Anthony Carn
20th Jul 2003, 14:12
Wiley - careful ! Mentioning that pilots need to go to the loo during flight will get jet_noseover into another little tizz !

"Pilots have bodily functions ? Disgraceful. Going to the loo during flight is a definite no-no !"

.......................or should that be a definite doo-doo ? ;)

20th Jul 2003, 14:20
Anthony Carn


Not sure why the hostility. I have no problem with pilots using the loo. As long as they are awake and do not pee in their pants is fine with me. :)
Lighten up. I am not your enemy.

Happen to be brought up as an idealist...

20th Jul 2003, 16:17

I guess you just said it all you are and idealist you don’t live in the real world!

Jet-noseover is probably a good name for you as if your view on fatigue is genuine and not a complete windup then that is about the attitude you will find yourself in after a series of long duties.

It's basic CRM, knowing your limits and those of your crew and then managing the flight deck accordingly to ensure a safe operation!

20th Jul 2003, 18:26
Keep in mind the general public are brought up to believe the person in the LHS is the only person flying the plane.

Anybody in the RHS must be there to steady the cups of coffee when you hit cat!:O

White Knight
20th Jul 2003, 18:35
Jet noseover - I'm also in serious disagreement with you sunshine. Have you done many 9 hour westbounds, leaving at midnight, so that the flight is in the dark the entire way ?? No matter how hard you try, and even if you've slept well before report, the eyelids sag. Controlled rest is very effective for making you more alert for the last important 200 miles of the trip.

How can you compare travelling by bus - single driver, no autopilot, no cabin crew - to travelling by air with two pilots, fully automated flight-deck and cc part of whose job it is to give us a call every so often to make sure we're still alive and one of us is awake whilst the other takes 45 minutes kip...
I have to say that you are actually talking out of your ar$e - no offence but try to realise what long haul flying is all about.

20th Jul 2003, 21:57
It doesn't have to be long haul. I found that repeated early starts over many weeks (ie 4am wake up) will definitely lead to fatigue and a very high risk of falling asleep at the controls. I was handflying a C207 doing scenics. I wasn't the only one to be suffering from fatigue either.
No automatics, no co-pilot, no aircon, plenty of sunshine..... just not enough sleep because of the cumulative effects of lack of sleep.

I don't know the captains' previous roster. If he's tired then there's a reason.

Pilot Pete
20th Jul 2003, 22:24

Have to disagree too old boy. You talk about napping being unprofessional. I would argue that controlled napping is exactly the opposite - an acknowledgement by two professionals that there is a problem and some corrective action being taken that is timely and considered.

You ask why the pax aren't informed. Well they aren't informed about lots of operational issues/ actions and decisions. Do you announce on the pa that you are going to set autobrake level 3 instead of 2 today because the conditions are a little bit worse than normal? Do you inform them that 1500' of runway is not useable due notam? Do you tell them that you are going to do a full power take off due to that brake line being capped off? I could go on. It's all about professionalism and not upsetting passengers with issues that they do not have all the information available to make a reasoned judgement on. That's what they trust us to do.

Now I do not condone falling asleep 'and feeling proud about being able to get away with it' which is what you imply and I do not know the facts behind this incident, perhaps the guy fell asleep and got caught, but perhaps there was a flight safety issue where he was a victim as well. Good airlines have taken large steps in improving flight safety by having 'no blame' cultures, which enables us all to learn from our 'inevitable' mistakes. So unless you never make ANY mistakes JN-O I think you should reasses your opinion. One day you will not be on top form in the cruise, but I suspect you will take the unprofessional approach of keeping it quiet. Don't dribble though as it is a dead giveaway!;)


21st Jul 2003, 00:04
They see captain sleeping, they panic. Why do you think this “tape”/pictures were taken if it’s so common pilots sleep while on duty? Why did he resign before the investigation?In this incident there were no reports of pax 'panicking', in fact everyone seems to have been having a bit of a giggle about it. The DHC-6 does not have a cockpit door separating it from the cabin which is why the 'uncommon' footage was possible.

The Capt's resignation was announced by the airline General Manager in very short order. You can draw your own conclusion.
Other pax say he was awake for both the takeoff and landing and dozed for about 30 minutes at cruise, if in fact that was what he was doing.

The real villain here ISTM is the venal pax who rushed his scoop to the nearest media outlet. Maybe there's something to be said for banning cameras after all :ooh:

21st Jul 2003, 00:35
Not knowing the circumstances of this particular situation I won't offer comment based solely on media reports. To do that would be a disservice to fellow pilots.

However, I too need to point out that "catching 40 winks" in a controlled fashion on the flight deck is both professional and increasingly becoming the norm. Our Ops manual allows for it and goes into great detail as to the whens and the hows this can be done. I will not reproduce all the details here but obviously must be done only in the cruise phase of flight, with the full agreement of others, to be not more than 20 minutes in duration and with no mitigating factors i.e. weather, system failures and the like. The actual section of the manual runs about 7 pages.

Canada is moving away from a prescriptive type of regulatory system to a Safety Management System. This allows well documented up to date research to be more easily incorporated into daily flight operations.

As for the inference by some that F/O's are there to keep the seat warm I beg to differ. F/O's are fully trained and qualified to operate the aircraft in all flight regimes. In any operation I have been involved in in the past 28 years that has certainly been the case. It is certainly the case with our aircraft.


21st Jul 2003, 01:01
Jet_noseover, bought up as an idealist? Since it is far from an ideal world and you must therefor be in perpetual torment, but unkind of you to pass it on to others. Do enlighten us as to which airline you fly for as it will obviously be somewhere this sort of thing would never happen, better yet what equipment you fly and your roster, people will flock to fly with you since you will always be rested and never ever tired, in short the ideal pilot in the ideal plane working for the ideal airline in ideal weather, in short a Utopian situation just tell us where it is. Uhhh... sorry wake me up I'm dreaming.

21st Jul 2003, 05:32
Why didn't pax wake him up? The temptation to call out "Pull-up" or "Warning Terrain" in a simulated computer voice must have been very tempting.

21st Jul 2003, 13:31
"Pull-up" or "Warning Terrain" In a twotter?:) :D

crack up
21st Jul 2003, 23:01
I was returning to p.u. a load when I looked around, I had no idea were I was. After a few minutes I recognized the area. I did a 180 and found the strip we were working out of. When I landed, the ground crew asked me were I was going. I had flown directly over the strip and continued for another 10 miles before I woke up. This was at 100'agl in an AT-301 doing 10 min cycles.

I don't think it really matters what type ac or duration of the flight or the type of operation. If you need sleep, there's a real good chance that you will nod off.

I saw an earlier post that mentions procedures in their ops manual for dozing. I hold a JAA ATPL and I don't recall anything in any regs about sleeping at a crew station while on duty.

22nd Jul 2003, 00:12
Well, well, well - so the Capt in question was "nailed" - this is not the fault of the captain - its a failure of the flight regulations regarding fatigue and crew rest - what about F/o,s who insist on having in seat brief sleep as they just cannot keep their eyes open because they are fatigued due to poor quality rest - person to be blame is the scheduling dept or better still, the regulations concerning rest and the quality of such rest - I believe that the captain used his discretion to make the flight safer by taking a short sleep so that he would be in a better state when it counted most - what this capt was caught doing is almost accepted practice in most airline,s - just not put on paper as the respective airlines would never do that.

wake up regulators!! - why don,t you make the airlines (CAA,s or equivalent - FAA) take some action in the interest of "Their Pilots" Capt or F/o,s - and make sure that sufficient rest (Quality rest) is ensured so that the respective FDP,s are amended in favour of safety and not profits.

Bye for now - going to put my head back for a moment as I'm really tired - could not get a decent sleep in the hotel - normaly don't have a problem sleeping but just could not sleep due to noise in hotel - maybe time zone problem - just wish the AVmed guys would make a decent study of fatigue


22nd Jul 2003, 01:53
person to be blame is the scheduling dept or better still, the regulations concerning rest and the quality of such rest

The guilty party has been identified. :ooh: :ok:

In the mean time the "sleeping beauty" is out of his job and $10K in the hole. (That's the fine attached for this illegal activity if reported, caught and confirmed.)
So, to all your sleepy heads out there when you are saying that it is your typical behavior while flying you better arm yourselves with cash, double check the door is closed/locked and your partner is not a snitch. ;)
The problem to deal in the future be - the desire for some airlines to install the flightdeck cameras. What'ya gonna do then?

:{ not :zzz: ??


22nd Jul 2003, 02:27
Very interesting thread. I wish to pose a question;

Cat naps encouraged/allowed/performed?

1/ Large 2,3 or 4 engine jet with a 6,000+mile journey

2/ 737/MD80/A320 with a 2,000+ mile journey

2/ CRJ with a 1,000 mile+ journey

3/ DHC? / King Air / with a 500+/- mile journey

There HAS to be some difference between these operations. My guess is, the duty time/rostering etc is probably worse with #2.

Of course, referring to this specific incident, the Capt may have been flying for 10 hrs. No sleep in between. Etc etc.

I still feel the F/O has a lot of explaining to do, or the Capt was rather naive to rest in full view of his pax.

22nd Jul 2003, 03:58
Not sure what the difference is in types of aircraft or stage lengths. Fatigue is fatigue. In our case our longest stage length is 51/2 hours. Is controlled rest appropriate for all operations and in all instances...no likely not but but probably in a great many. I remember back in 1980 one night on the last landing of a multi-stage day when the captain dozed off for a few seconds between the DH and the runway! On that particular day the longest stage had been 70 minutes, the last had been 25 minutes. It had been a 12 hour duty day and the last of 6 days in a row.

Regulators, management and professional associations need to face up to this. And as hard as it is for ourselves as professionals to admit it sometimes, there are NONE of us going around with a big "S" emblazoned on our chest.

22nd Jul 2003, 05:45

Neither pilot should have lost their job! If the FAA has a law that allows them to fine pilots for knapping on the flight deck and they would actually enforce it, then they are living in the dark ages! Same mentality that led to troops being shot for displaying a lack of moral fibre who were suffering from shell shock!


22nd Jul 2003, 06:32

Your quote: "The problem to deal in the future be - the desire for some airlines to install the flightdeck cameras. What'ya gonna do then?"

I don't think that we are going to revisit having cameras on the flight deck anytime soon. The last time that I recall that the airlines had flight deck cameras installed was because the airlines thought it was a great freebie for the passengers. After a reject at JFK which resulted in a flurry of lawsuits the cameras disappeared..

Personally the only way to fly is to have a crew bunk...

22nd Jul 2003, 09:34

“I still feel the F/O has a lot of explaining to do, or the Capt was rather naive to rest in full view of his pax.”

Where does it state the F/Os need to explain Captains actions? What exactly is it you feel he has to explain? Please elaborate.

The second part of your sentence makes more sense. The Darwin goes to the left seatter. :sad:


“Neither pilot should have lost their job.”

Only the one that slept (and got caught doing so) did. By his own choice.

“If the FAA has a law that allows them to fine pilots for knapping on the flight deck and they would actually enforce it, then they are living in the dark ages! “

You have a point there. But for right now it’s officially illegal and the fine is still $10K. Why do you think is so steep?
I think you might find it interesting. I was browsing other aviation safety sites and came upon this, from a 744 Captain. (US) :

“I do not know whether the FAR's address having one's eyes closed during flight but it is still illegal to sleep, nap or in any other word be less than totally conscious while in flight. It is a $10,000 fine if reported and confirmed by....? This is in spite of the fact that NTSB ran a 6 month test on crews flying back to back all nighters(KIX/HNL)wiring us up with electroencephlagrams to determine if naps are helpful in improving the ability to function at higher levels when in a state of sleep deprivation. Of course the result was that indeed the increase in alertness, even after only a 10 minute nap, was something like 80% over the fighting the urge to fall alseep condition. The FAA never acted on their advice of course. And those folks should be glad that the pilot had EYES to be closed as the FAA regulations allow for exemptions such as having only one eye if that pilot can demonstrate proficiency and depth perception with only one eye.”

So there… Silly? Yes it is!!

If anything gip identified the problem right on the money!


“Personally the only way to fly is to have a [..] bunk...”

:D ;)

I hope you meant ... for the pax. :}

Them auto-gadgets are not that smart to completely take over yet. Keeps you employed too.
But back to the subject:
“I don't think that we are going to revisit having cameras on the flight deck anytime soon. “
You might be surprised. There is a group of folks still actively pursuing the matter. Happened after the loss of EA990.

I am also for the cameras in the cockpits. One has nothing to fear when conducting proper, professional behavior. We probably would not have spent the money on the EA990 or Silk Air investigations either, had those been installed.

22nd Jul 2003, 11:28
My name is James Bergquist, former USAF and FAA ATC, and head of our union, NATCA, in San Diego.

I wrote to President Bush and told him we used to sleep on the job in every facility I ever worked in. I also told him I have seen controllers falling asleep on position in the middle of the day.

Read my post titled Open Letter to President Bush Re: I was a blind air traffic controller in this forum under ATC ISSUES.

I asked the poeple who responded to my post to comment about the controller errors in the handling of the crash of ValuJet flight 592 in Miami. Shortly after the crash, I was featured on ABC news in Miami when a controller at MIA tower overdosed on HEROIN in the bathroom. It turned out that the tower chief was tipping off his controllers about "random" drug tests.

Interesting reading, see you there. And check out my website at..


James Bergquist
air safety activist
[email protected]

Ignition Override
22nd Jul 2003, 12:57
If our FAA has ever cared one bit about any US flightcrewmembers' physical conditions and the ability to stay alert, then let any of our inspectors or administrators respond to the FAR Part 121 minimum rest period of eight (8) hours between duty periods-this includes post flight dutys, long walks thru airports to a hotel van (which might still be enroute), a long nap at the hotel and showering for the ride back to the airport, but no time to wait for a meal to be cooked. This is all considered a "continuous rest" period. It can be increased by one hour if the total flying time exceeded was more than 8 but less than 9 hours in the previous duty period. What a good deal-you might then be able to sleep up to 6 hours, following an exhausting day or night duty period which lasted up to sixteen hours without rest.

This rest period includes adequate time to check the aircraft logbooks, MEL limitations for deferred maintenance, determine whether the fuel load is enough for the new weather, along with many NOTAMS buried inside five feet of paperwork, alternate airports are adequate and then preflight the cockpit and check departure procedures.

How about the fact that until after the MD-80 accident at LIT (Little Rock, AR), our FAA had NEVER designated any rest periods for flightcrewmembers on continuous standby/reserve duty which can consist of several 24-hour periods in a row. Remember, no sleep period was provided, whether for daytime passenger ops or all-night cargo. After the Connie Kallita DC-8 cartwheeled at G'mo Bay, Cuba, following a very long duty period, the NTSB, for the FIRST TIME in US history, pointed to fatigue as the primary cause of a US air carrier accident: maybe they were only then able to find the nerve to stand up to the FAA.

These are just some of the conditions which can endanger us, our aircraft and passengers, therefore requiring us to have pilot unions in the US to increase the deplorable federally-imposed minimums , which I make no apologies for, whatsoever.

The FAA's second mandate, which is still often in total conflict with safety, is to indirectly subsidize US airlines. Check on the ATA's professional lobby activities in Congress.:(

22nd Jul 2003, 15:56

The CAA is far more enlightened in this area and accepts the practice of knapping is an aid to flight safety. I would rather see more restrictions on rostering but no matter how good the rules they cannot cater for every situation or rouge company.

Some Southern European crews we had flying for us a few years ago used to fly the Atlantic with charts over the windshields and both pilots asleep! Now there you would have a case for fining or sacking, I would even go as far as locking them up!

However the FAA needs to get up to date ASAP!

The F/O, if unhappy with any situation, is duty bound to speak up and assert himself if he feels flight safety is an issue, he/she clearly did not feel this was the case. To follow your argument (which I don’t happen to agree with) if the Captain had to loose his job then so did F/O. He/she is also responsible; you can’t have it both ways.

I still maintain the passengers should be facing sanctions for distracting the flight crew! Makes about as much sense as fining the Captain or thinking he should loose his job.

23rd Jul 2003, 10:40
I don't think you'll see cockpit cameras with public access ever again. The folks on the AA DC-10 got to watch the barrel roll onto the ground when the engine separated (late 70's) Public cameras dissappeared quietly after that. With passengers using "fear" as a justification to sue, showing them a cockpit image with little context within which to understand what they are viewing is pure trouble for the asking.

A for their safety use in post accident investigations, perhaps. Many questions have to be answered about access to this information before any pilot will fly with them. In any case they better be flush mounted:

"The problem to deal in the future be - the desire for some airlines to install the flightdeck cameras. What'ya gonna do then?"

Hang my hat on it!


24th Jul 2003, 20:00
Jet Nose-over, you are wrong.
Have you ever done anything else but flying ? I doubt you have. I, and I am sure many other pilots, have been in other jobs and I can assure you that fatigue and people dozing off while at work is not exclusive to aviation. You will however not see or hear it on the evening news unless it produces a fatal accident.
Our job is to get people safely from A to B. That includes admitting to myself and my captain that I am tired (if I am) and would like to 'rest my eyes' for a while. Never had an arguement about it. In fact, even yesterday, we both had an alternating rest while performing an all-nighter. During approach and landing it made me feel fit and alert. You should try it some time !
And about the passengers : you treat them as being ignorant. I can assure you that all of them will feel more at ease with a captain resting during the cruise and being sharp and alert during the approach then the other way round.

This too is good managment of your systems !

ou Trek dronkie
25th Jul 2003, 22:55
This PNO lad knows nothing about aviation, for sure. Napping is a wonderful way of overcoming fatigue. If you are fatigued, you must sleep – for a while anyway. It’s no use fighting it.

The need for napping is not confined to long haul. It all depends on schedules, rest periods, daytime activities and so on.

More than once I have come round from a “long blink” to find everyone else up front slightly in the “comatose state”. In fact, at night, over Africa, this situation is only slightly more dangerous than “normal” ops (whatever that means over Africa). I’m talking about 126.9.

Don’t let the lad upset you, he’s read too many safety books.

Napping is a great solution to a very real problem and should have been invented long ago.

26th Jul 2003, 00:15
This gentleman thinks having two rested pilots at the controls at any given time is a good idea, and you guys are more or less branding him an idiot?

We are the idiots for accepting long haul with two pilots. For accepting crazy work patterns on the short/medium haul scene. For accepting fewer days off. Minimum rest, and so on. All those things which have forced "power napping" into our cockpits.

I'm not against napping, by the way. I don't practice it myself, but my Effohs are welcome to. Napping will increase alertness later on, but I would like to see (or rather not), how a napping pilot would react to an explosive decompression.

Not to mention our locked doors. Not so easy for our friends in the back to check on us any more. Intercom, ok. Or is it called snooze these days?

26th Jul 2003, 12:44

“The CAA is far more enlightened in this area and accepts the practice of knapping is an aid to flight safety. “

Oh, so that’s it. Are you saying that CAA would be patting this captain’s back for “resting” on the 55 min flight had it happen in Europe?

“However the FAA needs to get up to date ASAP!”
Do not count on it. Mostly because of public perception. On longer flights sleep breaks are allowed, but only when the aux pilots are flying along.

What argument of mine (that you follow) don’t you agree with?


“Cameras on the flightdeck” sounds like a great topic for another thread. Start it and I’ll join you there. :ok:
(Btw, I did see the dc10 in ord come down. Was there at the time). :ouch:

Maybe I did not make myself clear or some are too wound up to comprehend what is being said.
What part of cfr states it is acceptable for overworked, fatigued pilots to take a quickie snooze while at the controls?